Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

  1. How do I switch my gas and electricity supplier?
  2. How long will it take to switch my gas and electricity supplier?
  3. Will my supply be interrupted?
  4. If I switch, do I need to contact my current energy supplier?
  5. How can I find out who my current energy supplier is?
  6. Can I switch if I am in debt with my current energy supplier?
  7. How often can I change my energy supplier?
  8. Is it possible for me to get gas and electricity from the same energy supplier?
  9. Will special needs services be provided by my new energy supplier?
  10. When should I cancel my existing direct debit?
  11. How do I set up a direct debit with my new energy supplier?
  12. What is Economy 7?
  13. Can I change to an Economy 7 tariff?
  14. MPRN (Gas Meter Point Reference Number) – what is it, and how do I find it?
  15. MPAN (Electricity Supply Number) – what is it, and how do I find it?
  16. What do I do if I have a gas leak or power cut after I’ve switched?
  17. I’m moving house – what do I need to do?
  18. What should I do if I discover a gas leak or a problem with my electricity after switching?
  19. Who deals with complaints about my new supplier?
  20. Who are Energywatch?
  21. Who are Ofgem?
  22. Is there a charge for using comparison sites?
  23. How can you offer this service for free?
  24. How do you calculate my annual savings?
  25. How do you define high, medium and low usage?

1. Switching energy suppliers is easy, log on to one of our recommended comparison sites and follow the quick and easy steps below:

  • Enter your postcode.
  • Enter your current gas and/or electricity supply details.
  • Select your preferred type of energy and method of payment.
  • The energy tariff calculator will then search all energy suppliers available in your region and bring up a table of results; you can sort these results by green energy providers or product.
  • Select the supplier you have chosen to switch to.
  • Sign up to your chosen tariff using the easy to follow application form. Back to top

2. Switching energy suppliers can take between four to six weeks. Back to top

3. As all energy suppliers use the pipes, meters and equipment already installed in your home there will be no interruption to your current supply. The only noticeable change is the name of the energy supplier on your bill. Back to top

4. The transfer of your gas and/or electricity supply is arranged by your new supplier so if you switch you will not need to contact your current supplier. Your new supplier will contact you directly to obtain final meter readings. Back to top

5. The name of your current energy supplier can be found at the top of your most recent bill or letter. If these are not available you can find the name of your supplier on your meter or by calling the meter number helpline on 0870 608 1524. Back to top

6. Your current energy supplier has the right to object – if you are in debt with them, you will need to clear all outstanding amounts. If you pay your bills by direct debit then the outstanding amount will be taken automatically. Back to top

7. You can change energy suppliers as often as you like, but should you be in a fixed-term contract there may be penalties for breaking the contract early. Back to top

8. Yes. Most energy suppliers now offer both gas and electricity – this is known as ‘dual fuel’. They also offer annual discounts, incentives and reduced prices. Back to top

9. If you have special needs they will continue to be catered for. All energy suppliers are required to comply with an industry code of practice governing the way in which the elderly, chronically ill and the disabled are dealt with. This code of practice also ensures that the energy suppliers provide facilities to assist the blind, partially sighted, deaf and hearing-impaired customers. Back to top

10. Your direct debit should be cancelled with your current energy supplier as soon as you have paid your final bill and confirmation of the transfer has been supplied. Back to top

11. You will receive a welcome pack from your new energy supplier; within this there will be a direct debit mandate form containing the bank details you supplied to during the switching process. You must check all details are correct and inform your new supplier if there are any discrepancies. Back to top

12. Economy 7 is a tariff that has different pricing structures – it has a lower price for energy used during a seven-hour period at night. This allows you to make savings by heating your water and storage heater during this period. Back to top

13. Yes you can change to an Economy 7 tariff, but as this involves a change of meter you will need to contact your existing energy supplier to arrange this. Some energy suppliers may charge you for this service. Back to top

14. Your MPRN is the unique identifying number for the gas meter at your property. Your MPRN is a ten digit number, commonly referred to as an “M” number, and can be found on your gas bill. If you can’t locate your MPRN, you can call the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524. Back to top

15 Your MPAN is the unique identifying number for the electricity meter at your property. Your MPAN is commonly referred to as a “Supply Number” or “S” number, and it can be found on your electricity bill. If you can’t locate your “S” number, you should contact your current electricity supplier, who will be able to tell you the number. An example of an MPAN is shown below.

S 08 123 456
23 0123 0123 456

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16. It makes no difference which company you have switched to or from; the same emergency procedures apply. Your new electricity supplier will give you a 24 hour emergency help number, which you should phone if you think there is a supply or safety problem. Transco is responsible for handling all gas emergencies within the UK. The freephone number for Transco is 0800 111 999. Back to top

17. Firstly, you should notify your existing gas and electricity suppliers that you are moving, and arrange for a final meter reading to be taken, and a final bill to be issued.

Now identify who supplies your new home with gas and electricity, either by asking the previous owners or tenants, or your landlord or letting agency. If you are still unsure, contact the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524 to find out who supplies gas to your property. Your regional electricity supplier will be able to tell you who supplies electricity to your new home. You can get their phone number from directory enquiries. Back to top

18. What should I do if I discover a gas leak or a problem with my electricity after switching?

All energy suppliers, regardless of which one you have switched to or from, use the same emergency procedures. Your new electricity supplier will supply you with a 24hr emergency helpline number for any problems you may have with your electricity. National Grid is the company responsible for dealing with any gas emergencies. The number to call should you need to report a problem with your gas supply is 0800 111 999. Back to top

19. You should try to resolve any complaints directly with your energy supplier. If this is not possible and you are not happy with the response you have received you can contact energywatch the independent gas and electricity watchdog. Back to top

20. To get a quote takes just a few minutes. To give you the most accurate savings quote, it is necessary we have an indication of the amount of energy you use, or the amount you pay per year for your energy. Your bill will give you a good idea if you don’t have this information to hand. Back to top

21. Energywatch is the independent watchdog for gas and electricity consumers. They were created in November 2000, as part of the Utilities Act, to protect and promote the interests of gas and electricity consumers in England, Scotland and Wales. They are completely independent of the energy industry, and the energy regulator Ofgem.

You can contact Energywatch by phoning 08459 06 07 08.

Alternatively, visit their website at Energywatch. Back to top

22. Ofgem is the regulator for Britain’s gas and electricity industries. Its role is to promote choice and value for all customers.

Ofgem’s powers are outlined in the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989, and amended in the Utilities Act 2000. It also has enforcement powers under the Competition Act 1998.

Ofgem works to encourage fair and competitive supply of all gas and electric products to all consumers within the United Kingdom.

You can contact Ofgem by calling 020 7901 7000, or by writing to Ofgem, 9 Milbank, London SW1P 3GE.

Alternatively, visit their website at www.ofgem.gov.uk. Back to top

23. There is no charge for using comparison sites. Back to top

24. EnergyCompare.org.uk receives commission from each energy supplier that you are able to switch to through our site. This commission has no bearing on our recommendations. Back to top

Our calculations engine works to determine your current energy usage from the annual Kwh, monetary or High/Medium/Low default usage values entered. It takes or derives your current Kwh usage by comparing the data you have input to the unit costs associated with your current tariff. This is then multiplied against the Kwh unit costs of other tariffs provided by alternative suppliers that operate in your area. Any additional savings offered by the supplier based on criteria such as payment type are also factored in.

25. The estimated annual savings figure is derived by subtracting the cost of the alternative tariff with this new supplier from your current calculated costs. Back to top

We define High/Medium/Low usage in line with published Energywatch rankings and will assume an average Kwh usage that will be factored against your current tariff to derive an average Annual Spend. (The Annual Spend amounts quoted below are approximate and represent the figures likely to be returned from your tariff; the exact amounts will be presented at the top of the results table following selection of a usage bracket):

The table below shows the figures we have used to define high, medium and low usage:

Electricity
User Avg. Electricity Consumption* (Kwh) Approximate Annual Spend*
Low User 1650 £320
Medium User 3300 £530
High User 4950 £730
Gas
User Avg. Gas Consumption* (Kwh) Approximate Annual Spend*
Low User 10000 £320
Medium User 20500 £530
High User 28000 £730

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